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Stern John accepts he is under pressure to deliver the goals for Derby County following the departure of Grzegorz Rasiak.


John is expected to lead the attack against Southampton tomorrow after completing a three-month loan move from Coventry City.

But as he looks forward to making his debut, he knows there will be comparisons with last season's 17-goal striker, Rasiak.

"People will see me as a replacement and obviously there will be some pressure on me but I'll just get my head down, work hard and try to do what I do best - score goals," he said.

"I'm not Grzegorz Rasiak, I can only be myself, and hopefully by the end of my loan spell the Derby fans will be smiling and happy with my performances."

The Trinidad and Tobago international has hit 53 goals in 198 games with Nottingham Forest, Birmingham City and Coventry.

Rams boss Phil Brown admits John has big boots to fill now Rasiak has gone to Tottenham Hotspur but is confident his new signing can provide goals.

"Grzegorz was a one goal in every two games striker but they are difficult to find and cost big money," said Brown.

"Stern is a one-in-three man and is in our market. He is strong, has a good touch, can play with his back to goal, hold the ball up and turn defenders. He'll have the number nine shirt recently worn by Rasiak.

"I'll be demanding goals from Stern and I see no reason why he can't deliver given the service we can provide from the likes of Tommy Smith and Morten Bisgaard, as well as Inigo Idiakez's set-pieces."

John has struggled to hold down a regular place at Coventry this season and is looking for a fresh start with Derby.

The two clubs had agreed to make the move permanent when the transfer window reopens in January, with the Rams paying a fee of around £150,000, but they do not now have to buy the player.

John is hoping to impress enough to stay permanently.

"It was frustrating and difficult for me at Coventry," he said. "With no disrespect to the other strikers there, I know I can score goals in this division, I've done it before.

"I think Derby's style of play will suit me better. They like to pass the ball and get it into feet.

"Now I just want to start playing and scoring goals."

John has scored on his debut at all his previous clubs and says he feels at home at Derby having played with Michael Johnson and Jeff Kenna at Birmingham City.

The 28-year-old hit seven goals in 15 League games to help Birmingham win promotion through the play-offs in 2001-02.

Like John, Peter Whittingham is relishing a new challenge.

The 21-year-old left-sided player - he can play midfield or left-back - is also here for three months and is a little surprised he has been frozen out at Aston Villa.

He started Villa's first three Premiership games of the season before being dropped.

"I know there are good quality players in front of me at Villa and it was time to get out and hopefully play some first-team football," said Whittingham.

"I'd like to think I still have a future at Villa but you never know what will happen. I'm here to help Derby and that's what I am fully focused on."

The England Under-21 international has played 52 Premier League games for Villa and had a loan spell at Burnley last season.